Don’t believe all the benefits bodyweight training is supposed to have? People who swear by other forms of exercise, people who have half-heartedly tried bodyweight, or people who haven’t done it themselves tend to spread untruths about it. In this article, we dispel the most common myths about bodyweight training.
Myth #1: You can’t build muscle with bodyweight training.
This is simply wrong. Using your own body weight as resistance is an extreme stimulus to your muscles. It will be strengthened and functional muscle mass will be built up. To build muscle, we need two things: a load on the muscle that it’s not used to, and the appropriate recovery time for it to get used to the load. How this stress is created is completely irrelevant. Your shoulder muscles, for example, don’t care if you do shoulder shrugs with weight or pullups. If someone says otherwise, don’t listen to them. With the necessary resistance, proper nutrition and recovery, you can definitely build muscle with bodyweight training.
Myth #2: You can’t change the resistance.
Just because you can’t add or take away weight plates, like you can with dumbbell training, doesn’t mean you can’t make progress. Instead of adding weight, adjust the way you do it. By changing things like the angle or the load on the joints, you change the stress on the muscles you want to train.
The intensity can also be changed by the duration of the load for each repetition. Example pushups: Have you ever tried to keep your body a few centimeters above the floor for five seconds during each repetition?? If so, then you know how effective it is to keep the muscle under tension longer. This is also called'time under tension', that is, the time in which the muscle is tense. A long'time under tension' and low repetition numbers lead to a higher muscle protein synthesis (muscle building). With higher numbers of repetitions you don’t build up as much muscle mass, but you train strength endurance and explosive power. The combination of high repetition numbers and a long'time under tension' is ideal for getting all-round fit.
Myth #3: Bodyweight training burns fewer calories than endurance training.
Bodyweight training not only burns as many calories as long-distance, slow-paced running (or other endurance sports), but also stimulates muscle growth. More muscle mass causes us to burn more calories at rest (so we increase our basal metabolic rate). When you do high-intensity bodyweight training, you also benefit from what’s called the afterburn effect, d. h. that your body burns calories long after the workout is over.
Exercising is not only about burning calories, of course. It’s all about getting more powerful, and most importantly, staying healthy. With bodyweight training you train muscles and joints in the full range of motion and thus improve stability, mobility and flexibility. So you are not only shaping your body and building muscles, but also maintaining your health.